International Sports

Women’s Hockey WC: India lose to Ireland in quarters

Prime Sports, International (London), August 3:- Reigning Asian champions India lost to lower-ranked Ireland 1-3 (0-0) via penalty shootout here on Thursday as the European side extended its dream run into the semi-finals of the Vitality Women’s Hockey World Cup.

For India, Reena Khokhar was the lone goal-scorer, while Roisin Upton, Alison Meeke, Chloe Watkins remained calm to beat Savita during the shootout after 60 minutes of regulation play yielded no goals.

World No.16 Ireland had defeated No.10 India in the pool stage and both teams on Thursday approached the match at the Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre with emphasis on defence.

After a lull first period, both teams intensified their attacks in the second quarter, with India using full-press to keep the pressure up. India remained effective yet calm in their attack, rotated the ball patiently to find the right opportunity in the circle but a real chance on goal continued to elude them.

For the Irish though, Anna O’Flannagan remained the cynosure of their attack when she cleverly positioned herself to find a deflection off a cross that sliced through their striking circle from the right. But India’s goalkeeper Savita made a diving effort to deny Anna a goal.

With a little over 30 seconds remaining for the half-time, India’s striker Rani Rampal made an aggressive dribble to enter the circle but a good tackle on Ireland’s part ensured both teams went into the ten-minute break at a 0-0 deadlock.

Ireland came up with an improvised game plan after the half-time break which saw them make a positive impact in their attack and also made crucial interceptions to disrupt India’s structure.

But India continued to hold their nerve and ensured good defensive structure to not concede. (MR, Inputs: Agencies).



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